Saturday, June 28, 2014

Way, Truth, Life

I start out and He is simply the WAY,
The road I´m walking on, the direction I´m choosing, the One I´m following because I´m compelled to think that this WAY will bring me peace, blessing, and heaven itself.

I continue and the TRUTH of Him sinks in,
The trustworthiness of this path beneath my feet, the glimpses of insight into my own ineptness, the scars I touch when He reaches out His strong hand, the feeling of being pulled by grace and carried by a Love I never knew before.

I fall, I skip, I re-think, I rest, I persist, I cry, I seek, I wonder.

One day I will round a bend and realize in amazement…that He has become my LIFE...

The goal no longer being peace, blessing, or even heaven…but more of Him. Every breath in my lungs being breathed not only through Him or by Him, but for Him. The attractive Love in His eyes now shining out of mine as well.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ocean, Laughter, and Jesus

His name is Ocean. He is my nephew. His birthday is the day before mine. He just turned 6. He prefers living in the country because he likes “open spaces” (direct quote). We both like green.  Fruit popsicles are our favorite.

Two days ago we spent the afternoon together for our annual June birthday outing. After a bike ride and eating lunch, we ended up at the beach. True to form there quickly appeared the uncontrolled smile and giggly glee that overtake Ocean whenever he´s near water. It´s of no use rolling up his pants…he´ll get wet regardless. His excitement was contagious. We ran along the shore making sand fortresses for the next wave to wash away. We laughed while our fortresses dissolved. We laughed when Ocean fell into the cold surf. We laughed when the water made our feet numb. We laughed while I attempted one-handed cartwheels.

I would like to think, that although there is no record of Jesus ever having laughed, that He was laughing and dashing with us on the Humboldt County sands. 

I would like to think that when Jesus said “of such is the kingdom of heaven,” He spoke of a group of little ones that included a six year-old, water-loving boy with a carefree, infectious laugh. 

I would like to think that as Jesus hung on the cross that part of the joy that gave Him strength to endure was a picture of Ocean and I jumping with glee on the beach. 

He died to give us that moment of pure joy…He died to give us an eternity of such moments. He longs for the day when He can laugh like a kid and run with His excited, rambunctious children along the shores of a river clear as crystal.   


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Before We Meet

Dear Beating Heart, Tiny Boy, Baby Nephew…

You´re on my mind.

Of course you´re on my mind. It´s past your due date and you´re on everybody´s mind (most especially your waiting mom´s)! :D

But you´re in my thoughts more than superficially, baby number four. I´ve had the excitement of awaiting a nephew before, but this is the first time I´ve ever waited for you—waited to see your eyes, hear your voice, cradle your head, and officially introduce myself as your Tía Ana. I have loved your brother and sisters, but this joy is different for you are entirely your own person. I will love you in completely unique ways because you are unique. To love you before I´ve ever seen you is a priceless privilege.

You have a great future, unborn one! Your first touch will be from your Grandpa Ruben. You will make your Papa´s blue eyes shine when he gets to hold you. You will grow up with a Mom who has one of the most beautiful faces in the world and, more significantly, a beautiful heart. You will see green trees surrounding you and you will breathe mountain air. There will be three rambunctious people who will jump on your bed and want to hug you and feed you and, soon enough, tease you. You will be bright. You will be blessed.

Lovely as she waits

You are going to make a mark on earth´s history that no one else can make. I know you are destined for greatness and I will look on in amazement at your abilities. A lifetime will not be enough to appreciate your uniqueness, so please promise me that you will believe in and learn to Love the God of eternity! He put breath in you for not just an earth-bound future, but for a heavenly one as well—a future filled with the most satisfying Love you can imagine!

Oh little life, I love you and my excitement grows with each second. But that is nothing compared to the brimming anticipation of the One who Loves you most…He saw your face long ago and you captured His heart.

You´re on His mind.

Love, Tía Ana

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Annoyed by...

 I was annoyed.

(Lately it seems whenever I confess to someone that I was annoyed, they do a double-take and with shock in their tone say, “You get annoyed?”  To set the records of my reputation straight—Yes, Ariana gets annoyed by others like all normal human beings. Similarly, I am at times annoyed without being able to explain the reason why.) 

Last week was strange. My cousin was visiting for several days and I normally would have enjoyed every second of his company. Not only is he a cousin who I care for (as I cherish all my cousins), but he is a cousin with whom I have shared poignant spiritual conversations and experiences.
However, this time a vague annoyance would steal over me whenever he entered the room. He knew I was determined to finish some work projects and so he would mostly come into my room just to lie on the mattress and read a book. But just knowing he was in the room annoyed me. I couldn´t explain my annoyance except to say that I felt he was somehow silently expecting something of me.  If he happened to come up to my computer desk and ventured to ask “Whatcha doing?”  (a question that to me had all too obvious of an answer), I would have to take a deep breath in order to give a minimally polite response. This was not a passing case of annoyance. It was full-blown.I hid my annoyance fairly well and hoped it would pass. I was too busy to think or pray about it for too long. 

One afternoon we decided to stop and talk to God at a favorite bridge of mine on the way home. The day was brilliant and filled with wind. As we shared our spiritual contemplations with each other and with God, I felt all trace of annoyance with my cousin disappear.

Getting in the car and driving away, it hit me. I knew why I had been so annoyed.  My cousin´s expectations were impossible to avoid.  He expected me to have new spiritual insight. He expected continuation of conversations about God´s Love. He expected the spontaneous prayer times we both reveled in. He expected the excitement in my voice. He expected the intense seeking after God in my daily living. Without saying anything out loud, he was looking for all these things in me and I reacted negatively to the pressure of these expectations.

My cousin was not the only expectant one. Nor was he the only one I was inwardly annoyed at. God was likewise expectant. Truthfully, I was annoyed by God—by His expectations. How could He expect above-average performance from an average girl? How could He expect a totally transformed life? How could He expect my hand to cling tenaciously to His? How could He expect more sacrifice? How could He expect ceaseless passion from a girl who gets tired and has work deadlines?

But then again, how could He not? He has said I am His and He is mine…thus making ALL things attainable and ALL things a joy through His Love. (Lesson learned).